Friday 04 May 2012
Dying Matters Awareness Week (14-20 May 2012), has been organised by the Dying Matters Coalition (UK) to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week, events are being held around the country to raise awareness about numerous end-of-life issues.
Dying Matters Coalition has grown rapidly since it was launched and now includes organisations from the health and care sectors, community groups, social care and housing, faith groups, the legal profession and the funeral sector.
Here in Guernsey the theme of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2012 will be "Small Actions, Big Difference", aimed at encouraging individuals and organisations to take the simple steps that can make a big difference to people when they are dying or bereaved. Whether it is through sharing their wishes with someone close to them, registering to become an organ donor, writing a will, considering taking out a funeral plan or making an effort to speak to someone who has been recently bereaved, members of the public can take small actions that make a real difference.
The Health & Social Services Department is working with Health Information Exchange Guernsey and the Guernsey Bereavement Services who have an interest in supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement. Awareness displays will be present in the foyer at Le Vauquiedor Entrance of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. Dying Matters aims to encourage people to talk about their own end-of-life issues with friends, family and loved ones.
Research has found that many people have specific wishes about their end-of-life care or what they would like to happen to them after their death, but that a reluctance to discuss these issues makes it much less likely that these will be met. There is a major mismatch between people's preferences for where they would like to die and their actual place of death - 70% of people would prefer to die at home but more than half currently die in hospital.
Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care & member of the Dying Matters Coalition (UK) said:
"Many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end-of-life issues. Talking about dying, death and bereavement is in everyone's interests as it can help ensure that all of us can get the care and support we want, where we want it at the end of our lives. Through being more confident in talking about dying and taking small actions to plan for the future and support each other, together we can make a big difference."
For more information about Dying Matters Awareness Week 2012
Wendy Beaven, Health Information Exchange
Tel: 01481 707 470
Karen Leach, Princess Elizabeth Hospital
Tel: 01481 725 241.